Slice of Life Pizza | Wilmington, NC
Ray Worrell is no stranger to the restaurant business. During his time as a student at UNC Wilmington, he worked in several local restaurants and quickly learned a great deal about the restaurant business from serving to bartending to management. In 2004 after two years of working at Slice of Life Pizzeria & Pub in downtown Wilmington, the owner gave him the opportunity to purchase the restaurant. He jumped at the opportunity, but knew he may need help with obtaining financing.
He was able to get most of his financing from family and the restaurant owner, but needed assistance with preparing a business plan and financial projections to obtain a loan to complete the purchase. A friend and active SBTDC client referred him to the SBTDC’s office at UNC Wilmington for help with his business. Business counselor Jim Howell assisted Ray with developing a well-polished business plan and realistic and promising financial projections that helped him obtain a total of $220K to purchase Slice of Life.
In 2007, the Slice of Life restaurant in downtown Wilmington was doing well with increased sales and growing customers. Ray felt it was the right time to open a second location in the Wrightsville Beach area. Again, Ray went to his SBTDC business counselor for his expert advice on the business plan and financial projections. He was able to obtain a $125K loan and invested equity capital to open the restaurant.
In 2010, Ray went to his business counselor to brainstorm and analyze whether he should start a new pastry business or open a third Slice of Life. After his business counselor prepared full financial analysis of Ray’s current businesses, including analysis of gross margins, expenses, net margins, asset utilization, trends in all of above, and ProfitCents for comparison to industry performance, the pair realized that it would be better to continue with another pizzeria. Ray found an available, desirable location in an area south of Wilmington, and opened the new restaurant in January 2011. With updated financial projections and a business plan in hand, he was able to obtain a $125K loan for this new operation.
Featured in the Wilmington Star-News as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the area, Ray has leveraged his industry expertise and the SBTDC to grow Slice of Life and help strengthen the local economy. During a recession in which many restaurants closed or struggled, Slice of Life prospered with a formula of focused menus, good locations, friendly ambience, and efficient operations. The sales growth of all three restaurants has grown from $350K in 2004 to nearly $3.5 million in 2012. Since 2004, Slice of Life Pizzeria & Pub has obtained $470K of financing and created 75 jobs with SBTDC assistance.
Story originally featured in the SBTDC’s 2012-2013 Annual Report.
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